Commentary on Wisconsin’s K-12 Governance Model

Chris Rickert:

The case heard by the state Supreme Court on Tuesday pits Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration against Evers and public education backers who object to the 2011 Act 21. That law gave the governor power to approve or reject the administrative rules state agencies create to implement statutes.

A court blocked the law from applying to Evers’ Department of Public Instruction in 2012, ruling that it unconstitutionally elevated the governor’s authority over the state superintendent’s. An appeals court agreed in February. Lawmakers continue to review rules as they did before the law was signed, but they have not had the power to reject them without passing a law to that effect.

As you might imagine, administrative rule-making doesn’t usually come with the high political drama that lawmaking does.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction brought us decades of low academic standards via the oft-criticized WKCE.